1. What is the Rockaway Quarry?
The Rockaway Quarry is a nonoperational Quarry located west of the intersection of State Route 1 and Reina del Mar Avenue in the City of Pacifica. The total site area is approximately 86 acres consisting of two privately-owned parcels, the Quarry Parcel and the Eastern Parcel. Both parcels together are known as the “Rockaway Quarry” or just the “Quarry.” The Quarry operated since at least the mid-1700s until its closure in 1987.
2. What is the Rockaway Quarry Reclamation Plan?
The Rockaway Quarry Reclamation Plan is a comprehensive effort to reclaim the nonoperational quarry (“Quarry Parcel” in the above map) located in the Rockaway Beach neighborhood of the City of Pacifica. The definition of “reclamation” is provided in Question #3, below.
Since the Quarry closed in 1987, it has not been fully reclaimed in accordance with City of Pacifica and State of California requirements. The current property owner, Preserve @ Pacifica LLC, has committed to reclaiming the Quarry in accordance with all applicable standards. Reclamation of the Quarry requires approval of a Quarry Use Permit by the City of Pacifica in accordance with Section 9-2.04 of the Pacifica Municipal Code.
The Reclamation Plan’s primary elements include grading and drainage improvements to render the site safe for future reuse in accordance with City of Pacifica land use regulations, and to restore a more natural, pre-mining appearance to the site’s topography. The Quarry Reclamation Plan will also include invasive species removal, revegetation with native species, wetland mitigation, and trail improvements to allow for safe public access throughout the site. The grading work will involve import of approximately 1,000,000 cubic yards of fill material over a period of approximately four years.
A more detailed description of the Quarry Reclamation Plan, including maps of the areas included in the project, may be found in the Notice of Preparation (NOP) of an Environmental Impact Report (EIR).
Reclamation of the Quarry is required by the City of Pacifica Municipal Code, in particular Chapter 2 “Surface Mining and Reclamation” of Title 9, and by State law, in particular the Surface Mining and Reclamation Act of 1975 (SMARA, Public Resources Code, Sections 2710-2796).
3. What is a reclamation plan?
A reclamation plan is a document which outlines activities which must be taken in accordance with state and local law following the completion of mining activities as a surface mine. The required contents of a reclamation plan pursuant to state law are found in sections 2772, 2772.1, 2773, 2773.1, 2773.3, and 2773.4 of the Public Resources Code, and in Article 1 (commencing with Section 3500), Article 9 (commencing with Section 3700), and Article 11 (commencing with Section 3800) of Subchapter 1 of Chapter 8 of Division 2 of Title 14 of the California Code of Regulations. Additional requirements pursuant to local law are found in Chapter 2 of Title 9 of the Pacifica Municipal Code.
Section 2733 of the Public Resources Code defines “reclamation” as “the combined process of land treatment that minimizes water degradation, air pollution, damage to aquatic or wildlife habitat, flooding, erosion, and other adverse effects from surface mining operations, including adverse surface effects incidental to underground mines, so that mined lands are reclaimed to a usable condition that is readily adaptable for alternate land uses and create no danger to public health or safety. The process may extend to affected lands surrounding mined lands, and may require backfilling, grading, resoiling, revegetation, soil compaction, slope stabilization, or other measures.”
4. Does the Quarry Reclamation Plan include development of the Quarry?
The Quarry Reclamation Plan does not include the development of any buildings or change in use of the Quarry site. Furthermore, the City of Pacifica has not received any application for development of the Quarry site (a prior application for development received in 2016 was withdrawn in 2018). Any future development on the Quarry site will require an application to the City of Pacifica and a public review process. The end result of the Quarry Reclamation Plan is a safe site that is suitable for reuse in accordance with City of Pacifica land use regulations.
5. Who owns the Rockaway Quarry?
The Rockaway Quarry is private property owned by Preserve @ Pacifica LLC. The City of Pacifica owns a parcel of land dividing the Quarry site which contains the Calera Creek Multi-Purpose Trail.
6. Who is the applicant for the Quarry Reclamation Plan?
The applicant for the Quarry Reclamation Plan is Baylands Soil Pacifica, LLC. The Quarry property owner, Preserve @ Pacifica LLC, has authorized Baylands Soil Pacifica, LLC, to undertake the Quarry reclamation.
7. What is the status of the Quarry Reclamation Plan?
The application for Quarry Use Permit UP-71-16 (File No. 2016-001) to approve the Quarry Reclamation Plan is complete. The status as “complete” means the project applicant has provided all information required by the City of Pacifica to understand the extent and characteristics of the Quarry Reclamation Plan in order to perform a complete review of the proposed project.
8. What is the City doing to review the Quarry Reclamation Plan for any potential environmental impacts?
The City of Pacifica will prepare an environmental impact report (EIR) to evaluate potential environmental impacts from the Quarry Reclamation Plan. The City is in the early stages of preparing the EIR and invites public input into the range of environmental impacts which should be evaluated in the EIR. Please review the Notice of Preparation (NOP) of an EIR for more information about how to provide input. In case you have missed the September 16th Scoping Meeting, you can review the City's presentation here.
The City expects to release a Draft EIR by early 2021. A minimum 45-day public review and comment period will follow release of the Draft EIR.
9. How long with the Quarry Reclamation Plan take to complete?
The work described in the Quarry Reclamation Plan is estimated to take approximately four years to complete from the date of approval of all required permits.
10. Will the Calera Creek Multi-purpose Trail be affected by the Rockaway Quarry Reclamation Plan?
The City-owned Calera Creek Multi-purpose Trail will generally remain open throughout performance of reclamation activities. Periodic closures may be necessary to move equipment within the Quarry owner’s easement across the City-owned trail which connects the two parcels of the Quarry site.
11. Is the California Coastal Commission involved in review of the Rockaway Quarry Reclamation Plan?
Yes. The Rockaway Quarry Site is located within an Area of Deferred Certification within the City of Pacifica’s Local Coastal Program. Thus, the California Coastal Commission (CCC) must approve the Coastal Development Permit (CDP) required to authorize reclamation work on the Quarry site. Inquiries regarding the status of CDP review should be directed to the CCC’s North Central Coast District Office at (415) 904-5200.
12. How can I stay informed about the Quarry Reclamation Plan project and receive notices about public meetings?
You can review the Quarry Reclamation Plan materials online and submit your comments to the City’s project planner, Christian Murdock. You can also offer your comments on the range of environmental impacts which should be evaluated in the EIR by providing comments during the public comment period on the Notice of Preparation (NOP) of an Environmental Impact Report (EIR). As noted above, the City is preparing an EIR to evaluate potential environmental impacts resulting from the Quarry Reclamation Plan.
You may also request to be added to the notification list for public meetings on the Quarry Reclamation Plan by contacting Christian Murdock.